Nicolas Pépé is having an amazing season at Lille, and to no one’s surprise, caught the eye of many clubs around Europe, including the likes of Bayern, Liverpool, Tottenham, Arsenal and of course Chelsea, all of whom will all be attempting to sign the winger in the summer transfer window. But why is it more vital for Chelsea to sign the winger?
At this point, nearly every Chelsea fan has accepted that Eden Hazard will be leaving come the end of the season, ticking of his final career wish of playing in Spain, after being one of the best players in France and England. He will be sorely missed by the team and the fans, because he is such a vital part of Chelsea. Without him the team looks weak and incompetent in attack especially since he has contributed to nearly 50% of Chelsea’s goals in the Premier League this season, scoring 16 and assisting 13 in 34 matches. That’s the most goal contributions of anyone in the Premier League. Leading the Premier League in multiple stats that include chances created, fouls won, dribbles completed, and winning 13 MOTM’s. This is arguably his best season for Chelsea to date and in my honest opinion the best player in the Premier League this season. It’s a mystery and a robbery as to how he isn’t included in the PFA team of the year but that’s not what this article is about. It is without a doubt that without Hazard our attack simply isn’t good enough. Pedro has 8 goals and 1 assist. Willian has 3 goals and 6 assists. Simply not good enough. Hence why Chelsea will need another talisman to fill the huge void left by Eden Hazard. This is where Pépé comes in. This season he has 19 goals and 11 assists, averaging 2.7 dribbles per game and 1.9 key passes per game. While his overall play making isn’t comparable to Eden, he makes up for it in his directness and his ability to score goals. A left footed 23-year-old RW who cuts in and scores. Something Chelsea haven’t had since the days of Arjen Robben.
Some may argue that we already have Christian Pulisic coming in, we don’t need another winger. That is simply not the case, he is still only 20 and no where near established enough to take the league by storm. And with an Achilles injury to Hudson-Odoi, ruling him out of the start of next season, our winger options aren’t enough. Willian, Pedro, Pulisic, Musonda, Kenedy. None of whom can come close to replicating Eden’s goals and assists, let alone his overall playmaking.
Finally, Pépé will fit the way Sarri wants to play. With Sarri looking increasingly likely he will still be the manager next season, it is vital he has the tools to be able to compete in the league as well as every other competition. Pépé’s directness, his one touch play, his movement is what ‘Sarriball,’ needs. Something Eden Hazard loves to do is take the ball and dribble, while very effective, only players like Eden and Messi can replicate that. If not that, he is a Chelsea fan, someone who will know what it means to play for the badge. It’s his dream to play for Chelsea, and only right we should help him achieve that dream. Could there be any more reasons to sign him?
It is without a shadow of a doubt Chelsea need a player of his abilities, his goal threat and his ability to scare defences back. After all, the last time we signed a Lille winger, it worked out very well. Let’s hope lightning can strike twice in this case. And if you’re still not convinced, watch a compilation our good friend Enoch Eicher put together.